Third visit to the Holguin area. Travelers included two families in their 30s with small kids (4-7). Previously stayed at Playa Pasquera and liked it a lot. Great weather, beautiful beach. Nice pool. Decent rooms, although bathrooms were a little below my standard. Main drawback was the food – very bland, boring, at times not fresh. Poor communication of event, etc., we were not told about the kids zoo nearby, didn’t find out about the kids club until a few days later…, Currency exchange teller tried to rip us off until we asked for the receipt and only then did she give the rest of the CUC owed. Our maid wasn’t very good; very poor job cleaning, usually left her 3 CUC in the mornings, but on the few days we didn’t have change to leave, she barely did anything. Definitely didn’t clean our bathroom. Front desk not very helpful, staff was pretty arrogant. Went to Guardalavaca market via taxi – lots of nice, unique stands with hand-made items. Drive cost 25 CUC for our whole group.
Arrival was very smooth, quick and easy check-in. Nice, inviting lobby. Unfortunately had to drag our luggage to our room ourselves as no one was available to offer a ride or assist.
Room was on the second floor, nice and spacious, king bed (a little hard for most people’s preference but didn’t bother me). Good AC, nice balcony, TV, spcious closet with dresser. Bathroom was fairly aged, didn’t appear very clean, loved the bidet though! Shower pressure and temp was good. Everything in the room worked well.
Restaurants and Bars: Buffet – large selection of dishes, several stands preparing fresh creations; ie. fajita stand, stir-fry, pizza stand, pasta stand, omlet & pancake stands, breakfast fresh doughnut stand (very good). Although the selection appeared quite large, I found the food very bland, heavy on oil. Disappointed in the fruit; wasn’t as fresh or tasty as I had expected. Great variety of desserts and ice cream. Fresh juice was also disappointing; only served fresh orange juice one morning, the rest were frozen or boxed juice. By day four, all the food seemed to blend in together for me, the smells were unappetizing, lacked flavour. Definitely quantity over quality. Snack Bar – great 24 hour option, some good items on the menu, definitely good option for when you can’t stomach the daily biffet visits, or miss the scheduled serving. Good burgers, pizzas, chicken and fish dishes. Cuban – This is the only a la carte we were able to book; had the lobster meal; was ok, not the best, but a good change from the buffet. Pool Grill – there is a tiny grill hut by the pool; serves meat and shrimp skewers, seafood rice dishes with salsa – very tasty snack option. Lobby Bar – very good, strong cappucinos! We heard the Asian was excellent but it was booked up. Heard very bad reviews about the Italian so we didn’t bother.
Overall – didn’t like being confined to the buffet, the last two days, we all had a hard time eating anything. Very dissappointing that they couldn’t accomodate us at the a la cartes we wanted.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach – beautiful! White sand, crystal blue water…loved it! Lots of shade. Some areas have roch/coral at the shore, but a few steps further there are beautiful sandy entrances into the water. Went snorkeling – saw some great creatures! Went on a hobby cat ride; great waves, lots of fun. No complaints about the beach at all. Pool – not huge, but very nice. I didn’t like the swim up bar and didn’t make much use of it; smelled like rotten milk and urine. The rest of the pool was great though; lots of shade, good balance between deep and shalow areas, non-stop music (mostly dance and carribean beats), nice, fun atmosphere.
Grounds – April is the end of the dry season, so the grass was all yellow and dead, but that it obviously not a resort issue. All other trees, bushed, plants were well taken care or, lots of beautiful flowers. Can tell grounds staff work hard to make it presentable.
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel: Shows – evening shows were a bit cheasy but fun. We saw a music group doing covers of some classic rock songs, a dance presentation of Grease, a black light children’s show, a Cuban music group song and dance performance. Overall it was ok.
Disco – only visited the disco one night as we were traveling with kids (4, 4, and 7); like the music and the energy. We did participate in the daily kid’s disco events; each day there was a different dance party organized for kids; follow the leader dance, hot potato dance, etc., as well as a magic show, a Disney trivia contest, etc. Kids really enjoyed it.